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Friday, July 15, 2016

New Version 3.7.2 of CliMate Animated Weather Widget released

The new version 3.7.2 was released today.

This fixes the Current Location issue on some devices, by allowing Google Play Services to be used to get the location. There is a new Use Google Play Services checkbox in the Set Location settings screen.

This will be automatically ticked for Android 6.0+ devices, but you can change that at any time. If its not ticked, it uses the old method of getting the location, which is fine for the vast majority of devices.  Just tick the box if you are having trouble getting the location.

Now I will go back to the Pirate Theme, and see if I can speed that up.

Thursday, July 7, 2016

Current Location problems..

Had several reports that CliMate Animated Weather Widget's current location setting is no longer working on Android 6.0 devices.

This is really strange, as it works on some devices, but not all. It works perfectly on my friend's S7 Edge, for example, but not on S7's for several customers who contacted me.

It looks like the current CliMate method of getting the location using Android's LocationManager is just no longer reliable on the latest devices running 6.0, even though it should be.

So the newer recommended method using Google Play Services is the way to go. A few users having problems have helped me out by running some tester apps that successfully get the location using Google Play Services.

At the same time I am moving the development environment from Eclipse to Android Studio, so I can take advantage of the easier way of integrating such newer services. This is not trivial, and has given me a lot of headaches but is the way forward.

The new theme such as Townhouse and the forthcoming Pirate theme are pretty slow to start up, because they are using so many layers of views to display the various animations. Using Android Studio, I can start to use some new features such as PercentageLayouts, which will drastically reduce the number of layers I need to show such complex animations.

So the next steps:

  • Convert CliMate to run under Android Studio
  • Add the new Google Play Services to get the current location
  • Test and the publish the update so customers having issues get the fix

  • Use PercentageLayout on the partially completed Pirate Theme
  • Finish the Pirate Theme
  • Publish an update
  • Change the Townhouse and other themes to use PercentageLayout.

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

More pirates...

Work continues on the Pirate Theme... here is the scene for the Partly Cloudy Sunset weather condition:

So what's new? First off the foreground is finished, and tweaked so that the forecast animations are clearly visible in front of the table and its contents.
Then there is a brand new lantern style on the top left, and at night and sunset times it has a flickering candle, which in turns cast a flickering light on the left corner of the cabin. And of course the lantern still swings as the ship pitches and rolls.
In the sea, the pirate ship in the distance now has a smoothly animated wake, matching the white tops colour of the current sea.
I can't do a great deal more with the animations, there is already so much going on and so many layers required to create these special effects that its pushing even my trusty Samsung S5.
I may consider an island in the distance, but that was pretty hard to get looking nice at first so I temporarily abandoned it.
Anyway, still enjoying this, and probably the best looking and most dramatic widget theme yet.

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Pirate Foreground almost complete

Pretty happy with the new theme foreground now.

  • Redid the sword, pistol and map
  • Made the brass porthole smaller so it fits better into the standard 4x2 widget size.
  • Added a sextant and a nice rope on a cleat.
  • Added a smoothly animating steering chain at the top, that slides in and out. This simulates the control of the ships steering wheel, that used to be attached via chains or rope to the actual steering board at the back of the ship.
Here is the current widget in Weather Only mode:

And in the main screen:

Now all that remains on the foreground is to improve the swinging lantern on the left, I want something with a bit more realism for the 18th Century period, the current one looks too much like a miner's lamp.

Then I will quickly do a night/sunset variation, to see if it looks good. maybe will give the lantern a flickering candle if possible.

Then on to the sea, coast and ships visible through the porthole! 

Friday, April 8, 2016

More Pirates..

Avast! Work going well on the pirate theme. Changed the map around and added a chest, coins, a goblet, a pirate hat (tricorn) and a different porthole style.

Here is the widget in full size, in Weather Only mode so you can see the full background image..

Here it is in the main screen, with weather details and forecast..


Monday, April 4, 2016

3.7.1 Bug Fix Release

Just released a new version 3.7.1, this was to fix an annoying problem discovered by a correspondent for the new Townhouse theme.

In the Raining and Rain Showers weather conditions, the sunset and the night scenes had been mistakenly swapped rounded, so at night the sunset scene was showing and vice versa. This new version fixes that.

In the meantime, work continues apace on the Pirate theme, I am really enjoying this and it looks like its going to be the best looking theme yet.
Will do an improved porthole shortly and still playing around with ideas for the cabin foreground, as you can see below, the sextant, swords and pistols will be improved once I have the correct placement: